VAUT: Video Aided Ultrasonic Testing

Thanks to the new VAUT (Video Aided UT) technology from Sonotron NDT introduced at the beginning of May, 2016 the UT operator may observe the live image of the ultrasonic probe either conventional or PA manipulated over the calibration block or the real test piece along with the corresponding UT data, for example the A-Scan, Sectorial scan, and the like, on the same instrument screen. For the first time ever this allows 100% - dedicated operator’s attention to the instrument screen whilst optimizing the ultrasonic signal and / or image and the probe position on the test piece synchronously. And of course every A-Scan and / or ultrasonic image data obtained at the certain probe position may be stored into a file comprising the UT data with the embedded photo representing the test piece and the probe position; the said embedded photo is assigned to the UT data inside the file only and not openable / reproducible autonomously. On opening the file the photo showing the test piece and the probe position on it appears along with the UT data stored

In case the video camera is settled into a static position either on the test piece or nearby and the observed frame covers the whole intended area of scanning or a part of it the VAUT technology allows recording of the scanning data either TOFD, strip chart, C-Scan, and the like into a file comprising the UT data with the embedded video of the scanning process synchronized with the encoded probe position; the said embedded video is assigned to the UT data in the file only and not openable / reproducible autonomously. On opening the file the recorded video will be played in accordance with ultrasonic data recoverable for each probe position along the scanning trace

Alternatively the video camera may be fitted into a scanner or encoder frame and focused onto the certain area of interest, for example – the weld surface. In that case the inspection results file will carry the UT data synchronized with the VT (Visual Testing) providing the dual modality inspection results obtained in one pass and comprised together increasing the global productivity of NDE

The VAUT is a standard feature of the new generation ultrasonic instruments of ISONIC 35 series from Sonotron NDT, the first three of which, namely ISONIC 3505, ISONIC 3507, and ISONIC 3510, were introduced in March – April 2016. All that is required to run VAUT is to have a standard USB camera connected to the instrument and the standard instrument software, which is up to date: the observation all the abilities described above to become available in every instrument starting with the software upgrade dated May, 2016 and all later releases so the users may get their stuff ready for VAUT just through the regular instrument software upgrade procedure

The new instruments of ISONIC 35 series allow connection of several cameras and processing of several video streams simultaneously. This opens the opportunity of the video-encoded scanning with the ultrasonic probe either conventional or PA without add-on devices such as encoders, probe holders, etc similarly to the famous Hawkeye® tennis ball tracing technology. Currently this new probe position encoding modality passes through the intensive testing by the operators of a number of organizations cooperating with Sonotron NDT and will appear in one of the next instrument software upgrade releases upon getting optimized for the robust and reliable use

The movies below illustrate manual PA UT of butt weld with use of ISONIC 3510 instrument supported by the new VAUT technology

Utilizing of the VAUT in combination with UT over IP technology for ultrasonic testing data acquisition, transfer, and imaging in real time along with remote control of the instrument over the ethernet, internet, etc brings the on-line supervising and support of the operator to the new level providing the smartphone or other device of the level III specialist with the real time stream of ultrasonic data accompanied with the life video of the scanning process:

Along with the video data the VAUT technology allows embedding of the GPS- or GLONASS- coordinate and the RFID data of the part under test into the inspection files provided the appropriate standard gadgets are connected to the instrument at the time of inspection. Along with the photo and / or video the global position and RFID data embedded into the same UT inspection files will improve the operation and reliability of the RBIM (Risk-Based Inspection and Maintenance) data bases avoiding the mistaken assigning of the NDT results to the wrongly designated objects

Note: In order to accelerate the data stream the videos above are linked to the Youtube. In case the YouTube may not be accessed from your location please use the link below